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The On-Going Rape Of The British Motorist

Jul 21, 2008
Are you learning to drive? It may seem like an expensive process but it's probably the cheapest element of driving as the British government continues it's steady process of raping the countries motorists.

The costs of owning a car and running it are reaching record heights with constant increases in road tax charges. A recent adjustment (via an outright lie as to the percentage of motorists that will be better off) has seen an estimate 9.4 million motorists facing a higher charge for tax in 2010-11. On vehicles made since 2001, excise duty will rise for up to GBP245.

Granted, this levee is against the highest polluting vehicles - the school-run 4x4s, with a fall in charges for 18% of motorists. 18%, now that's a nice high number of beneficiaries isn't it? Shame that the government first ran with the lie that more than 30% would be better off. In fact, that's less than one fifth of motorists.

For the record, on the 14th May, Gordon Brown, our non-elected money grabbing, out of touch, PM, stated: "the majority of motorists will benefit or pay no more in vehicle excise duty as a result."

This doesn't mean that if your car was registered before 2001 your cat tax won't go up. Not at all. A pre-2001 1.8 litre car costs a mere GBP101 to keep on the road. Not for year, mind, that's for six months. Ten years ago it was somewhere around the GBP70 mark.

In order to get your vehicle taxed, however, one must first have it pass the rigorous M.O.T exam, the Ministry of Transport test, that ensures all vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Of course these tests are needed to ensure we're not driving around a death-trap but why is the test - if it's obligatory - so expensive?

The average M.O.T test costs GBP50. Ten years ago it was under GBP30, surely that's a rise above the rate of inflation? Now when you add this cost to the cost of your years road fund license, your eyes may begin to water. That's assuming your vehicle passes the test. Given that garages are going to make money from the repairs and the government is already making a small fortune from motorists, these tests, surely, should be charge-free.

Yes, the government is making money off motorists, and not just in the dreaded road fund license rape scheme. we'll ignore, for now, the duty on an already overpriced fuel cost, and look at tolls. Ignore the congestion charge and the money it's raking in for the City of London and the millions of people having to pay to drive around their home, and look at something a little older, a charge that goes back to 1963. Can you guess what it is yet? Over 150,000 motorists a day pay up for this one: The Dartford Crossing.

When the tunnel under the Thames at Dartford was completed in 1963, the premise was that, once the construction costs had been paid for the toll would cease. Except, it didn't. Nor, when the costs of the Queen Elizabeth II bridge had been covered in 2003, did motorists have to stop paying their toll.

A quick calculation of 150,000 vehicles-a-day for a year offers up a nice GBP54,750,000. That's assuming all those tolls are cars which, as anyone who has used the crossing will testify, they're not. Heavy goods vehicles have to pay GBP2.90 a crossing, then there's the fact that what goes one way also comes the other on the way home. So you can at least double that. Then there's that glorious peak season around Christmas and January when a crossing time of 20 minutes becomes over an hour due to traffic volume. A toll-paying traffic volume.

The government's reason for not abandoning the toll as previously agreed, i.e: backsliding on a former promise, is as an effort to reduce congestion at the crossing. Well, that has clearly worked, as anyone who has dared to approach it on a working day at pretty much any time will notice as they sit in traffic, crawling along to offer up their contribution to what must be a billions-making racket.

The Government's continued rape of the motorists would be at least slightly tolerable if road and public transport saw the benefit outside of London. Public transport outside of large cities is a potential nightmare and road surfaces anywhere off a motorway are often a shambles. Good to know the money is going somewhere.

Driving lessons may seem like a daunting expense - a course of ten for an average 250 of your British pounds - but when you compare it to the amount the Government are happily waiting to steal from you the second you pass your test, it'll seem like nothing.
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